I decided to try out juggling a couple of weeks ago, when I saw a bunch of Googlers practising with balls and clubs. Fortunately, they were super helpful and they immediately offered to tutor a couple of newbies like me. I started with one ball, trying to throw it from one hand to the other at the same height. Then two balls, one in each hand; I was counting three steps: at one you throw the first ball, at two you throw the second, at three both balls have to be in your hands. What I soon realized was that my left hand is more imbalanced than my right, so I had to fix that. Later in the day, I could juggle three balls.
Clubs are a different story altogether. For me, they are so much more difficult to handle than balls, that I keep throwing (at least) one of them at my face, or at somebody else’s face, but preferably the former. One club I can handle without sending anybody to the hospital, but I can make no guarantees for two or three. Hmm, how can I stop being afraid of clubs? They seem so much nicer in a bowling alley than in my hands, while I try to juggle.
Anyway, juggling is tons of fun and it doesn’t require much space or equipment to try it out. So, don’t underestimate the plasticity of your body and give it a shot. If a bunch of out-of-shape geeks can do it than so can you. As for me, today balls and clubs, tomorrow chainsaws, swords, knives and torches of fire. Or not.
Today was my first day at Google. I spent my first moments being in awe of that beautiful, sunny, green campus and it wasn’t long before I started feeling nurtured: free food, free bikes which you are welcome to use inside the campus, technical assistance whenever you need it, several ways to have fun while taking a break from the job (from billiards to ball pits to salsa lessons), people welcoming you and saying that they’re happy that you’ll be working with them, classes and labs so you can familiarize yourself with their infrastructure…I mean wow…wow. I didn’t know a place like this existed and I wouldn’t believe anyone had they told me so.
As a person, a simple ice cream from my grandparents was enough to win me, so I started thinking how can I possibly react to nurture of this magnitude. What is the “right” way of showing that yes, I do appreciate it? Then something occurred to me: sometimes I think too much, I overanalyze. So, I decided I should simply enjoy this while it lasts and never take it as granted, ’cause tomorrow I might be paying for my food again. I also decided that I will not surrender my soul to this company, in the sense that I won’t try to dedicate my entire day to Google even though I am thankful for the opportunity, even though everything in the campus is cool; there are other things that are as cool and equally important: my healthy development as a person, for instance.
So, that’s the contract I made with Google on my first day: Google will take care of me and I will do my best to develop as a Computer Scientist and as a person, so I can make a difference.